Ethnopolitics Papers | Volume 3 (2012-2013)By Timofey Agarin on 23 December 2014
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 21
The Repositioning of Irish Nationalism in Northern Ireland
Survey evidence has demonstrated that support for a united Ireland from Catholics in Northern Ireland is markedly declining. Simultaneously, electoral support for the secessionist Sinn Féin party has substantially risen in the region since the signing of the peace agreement in 1998. Critics have attributed Sinn Féin’s electoral growth to consociational power sharing, which they argue rewards ethnic hardline parties. At the same time, many of these critics predicted that consociationalism would exacerbate secessionist sentiment within nationalism, a prognostication that is now contradicted by the survey data. In analysing this paradox, we argue that we are not witnessing the switching of identities – from Irish nationalism to UK unionism – but the repositioning of Irish nationalism from a secessionist movement to a substate nationalism mobilizing for more resources within the framework of devolution. In explaining this, we illuminate how liberal consociationalism, allied to devolution, rather than making identities inflexible, if the right endogenous and exogenous supporting factors are mobilized, can lead to their repositioning within a regional rather than zero-sum national context. Further to this, we compare the roughly analogous impact of devolution on identities in Northern Ireland with Scotland and, to a lesser extent, Wales.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 22
The Constructions and Reconstructions of an Identity: An Examination of the Regional Autonomy Movement in Santa Cruz, Bolivia
In Bolivia, the well‐known indigenous mobilizations of the last decade have given rise to the mobilization of a regional opposition, particularly in the south-eastern department of Santa Cruz. The regionalist autonomy movement not only opposes the nationalization of the country’s natural resources – of which the largest share is located in the south‐east – but also indigenous autonomy for fear of a de-facto discrimination of non‐indigenous Bolivians. In its discourse, the movement draws on the construction of regional identities that are increasingly contrasted with indigeneity and implicitly, or even explicitly, racist. This paper examines this lesser‐known movement and its construction and reconstruction of the Cruceño identity category in Santa Cruz over time. Following a short overview of the economic, political, and demographic situation in Santa Cruz, this paper covers the construction of identity categories from Santa Cruz’ colonization in the sixteenth century until the end of the twentieth century. It then presents and analyzes the events and discourses of the protest cycle between 2000 and 2005 from the perspective of Santa Cruz and examines the departmental elites’ struggle against the new constitution and the discourses and actions filed in support. The conclusion discusses the developments, focusing particularly on the contestation of identity categories and their relation to the Bolivian nation as a whole.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 23
The Importance of Language: The Relationship between Lingustic Vitality and Conflict Intensity
Intergroup ethnic conflicts represent a risk of death and destruction. Understanding the reasons that push group members to adopt a certain level of conflict intensity is of the upmost im portance. In the hope of shedding new light upon this phenomenon, this paper explores how ethnic conflict intensity may be influenced by linguistic vitality, a measure of the ability to use a language. The paper presents a theoretical
model in which low and high levels of linguistic vitality are presented as being linked to lower conflict intensity than moderate vitality levels. The results lend support to this hypothesis, explaining in an accurate manner the conflict intensity of language-based ethnic conflicts in a general context and, more precisely, within countries.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 24
The Fifth Element: Expanding the Quadratic Nexus?
This paper suggests that there is yet another ‘relational field’ in the quadratic nexus, previously overlooked by nationalism studies, namely the complicated interplay between different national minorities sharing the same homeland along with the core nation. This paper argues that this ‘fifth element’ is vital for the comprehensive analysis of interethnic relations in cases where more than one sizeable ethnic minority is present in the same state. Using the example of interwar Latvia, it demonstrates that it has a direct impact on minorities’ relations with the eponymous nation, with their respective kin-states, with international organisations, and on the overall state of majority-minority relations.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 25
Socio-Political and Socio-Economic Causes of Conflict Escalation in the North Caucasus
Escalation of armed conflict in the Russian North Caucasus has dramatically intensified during the last five years, resulting in the rise of conflict‐related violence in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino–Balkaria. This article examines the causes of growing instability in the autonomous republics of the North Caucasus. While the spill‐over of violence from Chechnya, along with the spread of radical religious ideology, ethnic nationalism and secessionism are generally acknowledged as the key causes of conflict escalation, the socio‐economic and socio‐political aspects often remain neglected. Drawing insights from representative surveys conducted in the conflict‐affected region during the last eight years, this study suggests that factors other than radical Islam and separatist aspirations can be held accountable for the spread and escalation of
violence in the North Caucasus. Of these factors this paper argues that social insecurity, systemic corruption, a lack of popular representation and the lawlessness of authorities are the key determinants of conflict intensification in the region.